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China Says Its Fintech Antitrust Moves Not Targeted at Private Banks, Insurers

2021-01-22 12:40:15

China's recent antitrust measures are not targeting the private sector and are not intended to hinder the development of such companies, a senior banking and insurance regulator said Friday, as the country seeks control of the fintech space. expand.

Beijing has indicated that it wants to strengthen its oversight, particularly over tech companies looking to expand into the financial space, a reversal of its once-laissez-faire approach.

The drive has brought attention to Alibaba's fintech subsidiary Ant Group, whose record of $ 37 billion was abruptly halted by Beijing in early November, convening its executives and telling them to brace for more regulation.

However, regulators still support banks and insurers that partner with internet platforms, said Liang Tao, the vice chair of China's Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).

"Antitrust measures are not targeting private companies or any particular company," Liang told a news conference in the Chinese capital.

Regulatory authorities are striking a delicate balance in their efforts to fend off risk without discouraging innovation.

Financial regulators recently spoke to a few internet platform companies, including Ant, Liang said, with some taking a positive stance on the sought changes.

The central bank has said it has asked Ant to ensure the quality of its financial services to the public as it works to straighten out its affairs.

Ant & # 39; s situation, which has fascinated industry participants and the public, culminated in feverish speculation about founder Jack Ma's whereabouts, which was only resolved this week, through his first public appearance in three months.

Ma had not been seen since October 24, when he destroyed China's regulatory system in a speech in the commercial center of Shanghai that put him on a collision course with officials and led to the suspension of Ant's IPO.

Relief that he had resurfaced added $ 58 billion in market value on Wednesday as Alibaba's Hong Kong-listed shares soared.

(Reporting by Tina Qiao, Cheng Leng, Zhang Yan, and Brenda Goh; edited by Clarence Fernandez)

Top photo: In this photo taken on Friday, October 23, 2020, an employee walks past a logo of the Ant Group at their office in Hong Kong. (AP Photo / Kin Cheung)


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